Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Indian Coast Guard Gets New Director General

Vice Admiral Anurag G Thapliyal, AVSM will be taking over as the 20th Director General of Indian Coast Guard on 28 Feb 2013 and will be succeeding the present Director General Vice Admiral MP Muralidharan AVSM & Bar, NM.

The Admiral, since commissioning in the Indian Navy on 01 Jul 1977, has held a mix of operational and sea appointments. He is Navigation and Aircraft Direction specialist and his various sea appointments include command of INS Ajay, Khukri, Tabar and Mysore. He has also had the rare distinction of commissioning INS Cheetah, as Navigating Officer, in Poland and INS Ajay and Tabar as Commanding Officer, both in Russia. The Flag Officer has also been the Fleet Operations Officer, Eastern Fleet at Visakhapatnam.

He has also held several challenging and prestigious appointments on shore which include the appointments of Chief Instructor ND School, Dy Director Naval Operations, Joint Director Naval Plans at the Integrated Headquarters of MoD and Director Maritime Warfare Centre Visakhapatnam. On promotion to the rank of Rear Admiral, he took over as Chief of Staff at Headquarters, Eastern Naval Command and later served as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Information Warfare & Operations and Fleet Commander of the Eastern Fleet. While he was Commandant Indian Naval Academy Ezhimala, he was promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral.

Admiral Thapliyal is an alumnus of Naval War College, USA and Defence Services Staff College Wellington and possesses two Masters Degrees in Physics and Defence Studies. The Flag Officer is a recipient of Ati Vishist Seva Medal. He has been the Chief of Personnel at the Integrated Headquarters of the MoD, prior taking over as the Director General Indian Coast Guard.

The Flag Officer is married to Mrs Rachna Thapliyal and has two sons.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Commissioning Of Indian Coast Guard Ship C-154

154 by Chindits
154, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
At an impressive ceremony on 22 Feb 13 at Mumbai, Indian Coast Guard Interceptor Boat C-154 was commissioned by Shri Jayantkumar Banthia, IAS, Chief Secretary to Government of Maharashtra. Apart from the officers and men of the Indian Coast Guard, the ceremony was also attended by representatives of Navy, Army, Air Force, State Govt departments and the media.

The 28 metres long Interceptor Boat with 75 tonnes displacement can achieve a maximum speed of 35 knots. This Interceptor Boat has been built by M/s Bharati Shipyard Ltd. The vessel is fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment and medium range armament. It is designed for high speed interception, close-coast patrol, low-intensity maritime operations, Search & Rescue and maritime surveillance.

The IB is also capable of operating in shallow water as well as in deep seas. The IB is fitted with 02 main engines of 1630 KW each and ASD system. The IB is provided with advanced navigational and communication equipment.

The Interceptor Boat ICGS C-154 is based at Mumbai under the Administrative and Operational Control of the Commander, No 2 Coast Guard District HQ, Mumbai.

The IB is commanded by Dy Comdt Arvind K Tyagi, TM with a crew of 12 Enrolled Personnel.


AgustaWestland Statement A Day Before Their Reply To MoD

AgustaWestland Statement:

With reference to the Indian Ministry of Defence’s request for information regarding the AW101 contract, received last week, AgustaWestland confirms it is responding to the notice in the spirit of full cooperation with the Indian Ministry of Defence.

AgustaWestland confirmed that its conduct has been fully compliant with the rules which regulate the AW101 helicopters contract signed with India.

The contract was awarded to AgustaWestland following a comprehensive technical and flight evaluation of competing types performed by the Indian Air Force in accordance with the Defence Procurement Procedures. This evaluation demonstrated that the AW101 was the only aircraft able to fully meet the Indian Air Force’s operational requirements, as already confirmed by the Indian Authorities in different occasions.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Indian Defence Minister Antony Says Govt To Take Second Look At Procurement & Production Policies

The Defence Minister Shri A K Antony today said speedy indigenization in Defence production is essential to eliminate corruption in procurement process.  Addressing the Second International Seminar on Army Air Defence here, Shri Antony said the Armed Forces, the Government, the DRDO, the industry - both public and private sector should come together in a mission mode so that the country can achieve maximum for indigenization in a reasonable framework of time.  He assured that the Government  would provide all support required to achieve this objective.

Shri Antony said the Government is going to have a second look at both the Defence procurement procedure and the Defence production policy and amend it in a manner so that the industry can take more interest in Defence production. 

Referring to the recent allegations of corruption in a defence deal,  Shri Antony said the Government had taken stringent action against six companies which had resorted to unethical practices in securing other defence contracts.  He said it is regrettable that lessons have not been learned from that episode.  Shri Antony said the country can’t afford to lose poor tax payers’ money for greedy players in the field.

The Minister had a word of advice to the Armed Forces.  He said while drawing up the list of products for their operational requirements, the Services should look at the availability of the same in the country first.  “Imports should be the last resort”, he said.

He said the public and the private sectors have to synergise their competencies in creating capabilities for technologies in niche areas.  This would promote self-reliance and foster our endeavor towards modernization.  It is important that the private sector emerges as a major player, fully geared to meet various operational requirements of our Armed Forces with requisite knowledge, expertise and wherewithal.  It is extremely relevant to appreciate each other’s concerns, strengths and opportunities which are thrown up in this process.  A strong and vibrant partnership between the public and private sector is crucial for delivering the much-needed defence technological upgradation.

Shri Antony said, our domestic defence industry is at a takeoff stage.  We need collaboration at the global level to leverage the benefits of the latest available technologies.  Government’s policy on Offset is expected to facilitate this.  “I would urge the industry to come forward and take advantage of this policy”, he said.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fourth Sukhoi-30MKI Crash In Rajasthan, Pilots Safe !!!

An IAF Sukhoi 30MKI fighter aircraft crashed today in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer district.Both pilots ejected safely.

1st crash took place on April 30, 2009, 2nd on Nov 30, 2009, 3rd on Dec 13, 2011.

Russia Should Induct BrahMos In Its Armed Forces, Says Antony

The Defence Minister Shri A K Antony today said Russia should induct BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in their fleet so that the success achieved in the joint venture will be fully appreciated. Addressing the ‘Partnership Day’ marking the 15th anniversary of the signing of Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) between India and Russia for the formation of BrahMos joint venture in New Delhi, he said, soon, the Indian Air Force will have BrahMos both, on land and air platform, making it a real force multiplier for all the wings of the Indian Armed Forces. Army, Navy and Air Force consider BrahMos to be an important weapon due to its speed, precision and power, he said. The Government has also decided to expand the infrastructure at multiple centres to cater to larger production requirement of BrahMos missiles and systems.

Shri Antony said the cooperation between the scientists and scientific expertise of DRDO and NPOM and many other organisations from India and Russia has proved that there is a way to do things faster and take the lead in the world. The partnership has blossomed and yielded results, which have not been achieved by any other country. He admitted that the role of DRDO, NPOM and the quality assurance agencies in grooming this industry to achieve high technology levels and a superior quality product has indeed resulted in customers’ delight, that is, our Defence Forces. The Minister remarked that this process has resulted in a new trend of thinking, in terms of a collaboration and joint venture, as India too could share its technology and products with others.

On this occasion, the CEO and MD of BrahMos Aerospace Dr. A Sivathanu Pillai in his welcome address gave a brief account of the growth and evolution of this joint venture. The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne in his address said that the modified Su-30 Mk-I aircraft will soon be equipped with BrahMos missile. Dr. AG Leonov, Director General NPOM, Russian Federation, Dr. VK Saraswat, Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister also spoke on the occasion. Defence Minister also presented awards/trophies to some top scientists and technologists associated with this joint venture.


Indian Coast Guard Ship ACV H-190 Commissioned

Picture76 by Chindits
Picture76, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
Indian Coast Guard Ship H-190, the fourth in the series of twelve Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs) designed and built by M/s Griffon Hoverwork Limited (GHL), UK was commissioned at Mandapam by
Vice Admiral MP Muralidharan AVSM & bar, NM, Director General Indian Coast Guard in the presence of Inspector General SP Sharma, PTM, TM Commander Coast Guard Region (East) and other dignitaries from Central and State Government.

The 21 metres long Air Cushion Vehicle with 31 tonnes displacement can achieve a maximum speed of 45 knots. The ACV is capable of undertaking multi-farious tasks such as surveillance, interdiction, Search and Rescue and rendering assistance to small boats/craft in distress at sea.

ICGS H-190 will be based at Mandapam under the Administrative and Operational Control of the Commander Coast Guard Region (East).  The Air Cushion Vehicle is commanded by Commandant R Suresh. The Air Cushion Vehicle has a crew of 02 Officers and 10 Enrolled Personnel.


IAF To Demonstrate Its Firepower At Pokharan In Iron Fist On Feb 22, 2013

February 22, 2013 would witness the Indian Air Force demonstrate its operational capabilities by day, dusk and night at the sprawling facility of the Pokharan Range, the largest air –to-ground weapons firing range for training in delivery of heavy armament, near Jaisalmer, in the arid Rajasthan Sector in an Exercise named – The Iron Fist.

Showcasing more than 30 types of platforms and Weapons Systems amounting to a participation of over 200 aircraft, this Fire Power Display will demonstrate the day and night employability of air power by frontline fighter aircraft of the IAF including  - Su-30 MKI, Mirage-2000, Jaguar, MiG-21,MiG-27, MiG-29 and Hawks. The transport aircraft would include – C130J, AN-32, Embraer and IL-76, while Mi-8, Mi-17 V5, Mi-17 1V and Mi-35 Attack Helicopters will constitute the Rotary Wing ingredients.

Being a display of armament delivery skills by pilots at the end of their training year, the exercise also aids commanders and planners to gain better insight into the potential and deployment capabilities of aerial weapons.

The IAF would also be showcasing, for the first time, its Surface to Air Missile Systems and its latest aircraft Pilatus PC-7 Mk II. The events at - Iron Fist intend to display various aspects of Fire Power like-  Air Defence Operations, Counter Surface Force Operations, Urban Warfare and Combat Search Rescue Operations.

Light Combat Aircraft and Light Combat Helicopter, two of the most prestigious indigenous projects would also form a part of the display. In addition, IAF’s Parajumping Team, Akash Ganga, IAF’s Air Warrior Drill Team and Air Warrior Symphony Orchestra would also perform.

Aimed at providing the nation the reassurance that the IAF will deliver whenever called upon, a demonstration of this magnitude is being carried out for the first time by day, dusk and night. Very few air forces in the world can achieve this feat.



Saturday, February 16, 2013

Agusta Westland Reacts : 'India Has Not Yet Cancelled The Contract'

AgustaWestland Statement
Regarding recent investigations by an Italian prosecutor into alleged improprieties concerning the contract for VVIP helicopters for the Government of India, AgustaWestland is confident that the full compliance with the relevant laws as well as the good conduct of its past and present Senior Executives and Managers will be demonstrated as soon as practicable.

As for media reports alleging that Indian Authorities have cancelled the VVIP helicopters contract, AgustaWestland clarifies that the Indian Ministry of Defence has not cancelled the contract but has given notice requesting information within seven days. AgustaWestland is preparing its answers to timely meet the Indian Ministry of Defence’s request.

In 2011 AgustaWestland had revenues of approximately EUR4.0 billion and an order book of approximately EUR12.0 billion including future deliveries of more than 600 helicopters and 300 helicopter kits. It has a workforce of more than 13,000 and additionally supports some 4,000 people externally. The 2012 trend for AgustaWestland continue to remain positive as well. This success is based on the expertise, skills and dedication of the company’s workforce as well as on the breadth of its research capabilities, manufacturing base, supply chain and, of course, the quality of its products.

French President Concludes First Visit, Leaves India With Assurance Of Providing Graft-Free MMRCA Deal !!

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian calling on Defence Minister A K Antony at South Block on Feb 14, 2013.

Friday, February 15, 2013

MoD Begins Process of Cancellation of AgustaWestland Helicopter Contract

The Ministry of Defence has initiated action for cancellation of contract for procurement of 12 AW101 helicopters for the use of VVIPs.

MoD today issued a formal show cause notice to the AgustaWestland of UK seeking cancellation of contract and taking other actions as per the terms of the contract and the Integrity Pact.

MoD had already put on hold further payments to the company on Wednesday.  With today’s show cause notice, the operation of the contract has been put on hold.  The company has been asked to reply to the notice in seven days.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ministry Of Defence Reacts To Chopper Scam Criticism, Puts Out A Huge Statement!!

1. In August 1999, the IAF which is responsible for carrying out VVIP communication task, proposed the replacement of Mi-8 VIP helicopters due to severe operational constraints, such as, inability of Mi-8 to operate at night and in adverse weather, inability to operate safely at places in elevation beyond 2000 meters etc. IAF felt the need for the replacement of Mi-8 helicopters as they were completing their total technical life.

 2. A global RFP was issued in March 2002 to which 4 vendors responded. The Technical Evaluation Committee shortlisted 3 helicopters and accordingly flight evaluations were conducted.  Since, EH-101 of M/s. AgustaWestland was not certified for an altitude of 6000 meters, it did not participate in the flight evaluation. The Russian helicopter Mi-172 could not comply with 7 mandatory Operational Requirements (ORs).  After flight evaluation, EC-225 of M/s. Eurocopter, France was found suitable for acquisition.

 3. On November 19, 2003 a meeting was taken by Principal Secretary to PM on this subject.  In the meeting, Principal Secretary observed that his main concern was that the framing of the mandatory requirements has led us effectively into a single vendor situation.  It was also noted that PM and President have rarely made visits to places involving flying at an altitude beyond 4500 meters.  In the meeting it was decided to make the mandatory requirement for operational altitude 4500 meters.  The higher flying ceiling of 6000 meters, and a cabinet height of 1.8 meters could be made desirable operational requirements.  It was observed that with these revisions, several helicopters which otherwise met all requirements but had been rejected due to the altitude restriction, would now come into the reckoning.

 4. The meeting was followed by a letter dated 22nd December, 2003 from the Principal Secretary to PM to the Air Chief, stating that it was unfortunate that neither PMO nor SPG was consulted while framing these mandatory requirements.  He suggested that CAS and Defence Secretary may jointly review the matter to draw up realistic mandatory requirements satisfying operational, security and convenience requirements of VVIPs and also set in motion a fast track process for selection and acquisition of the replacement helicopters.

 5. In pursuance of the above directive, the ORs were deliberated at length between IAF, NSA, SPG/PMO and MoD between March, 2005 to September, 2006 and the above indicated changes were incorporated.

6.  The required numbers of helicopters for the entourage of VVIP was further deliberated between Air HQ, MoD and SPG/PMO. The quantity of helicopters proposed for procurement was revised from 8 to 12 helicopters by adding 4 helicopters in non-VIP configuration for security reasons.

7. The AON for the procurement of 12 helicopters was accorded by the Defence Acquisition Council under ‘Buy’ category with 30 percent offsets on 3rd January, 2006.  RFP was issued to 6 vendors on 27th September, 2006.
8. Three vendors, namely M/s Sikorsky, USA (S-92 helicopter), M/s AgustaWestland, UK (EH-101 helicopter) and M/s. Rosoboronexport, Russia (Mi-172 helicopter) responded to the RFP.

9.M/s. Rosoboronexport did not submit earnest money deposit and the Integrity Pact, along with their Technical and Commercial proposals. It had been made clear to M/s Rosoboronexport in February 2007 that this was a global tender and hence every contractual clause would be the same for all vendors.  As no Integrity Pact and Earnest Money Deposit were received from M/s Rosoboronexport, their Techno-Commercial offer was not accepted.

10.The Technical Evaluation Committee evaluated the technical proposals of M/s Sikorsky and M/s AgustaWestland and recommended field evaluation trials of their helicopters.

11.The Field Evaluation Trial of M/s AgustaWestland was carried out in UK and trials of M/s Sikorsky were carried out in USA from 16 January 2008 to February 2008.  The Field Evaluation Trial team submitted its report in April 2008 and recommended AW-101 helicopter of M/s AgustaWestland for induction into Service.  SPG was also part of the Field Evaluation Trial team.

12. The Staff Evaluation Report of Air HQ concluded that the S-92 helicopter was non-compliant with respect to four SQRs for the VVIP helicopter (Missile Approach Warning System, Service Ceiling of 4.5 km, Drift Down Altitude and Hover Out of Ground Effect).  The Staff Evaluation Report assessed the VVIP helicopter AW-101 to be fully compliant with all SQRs.

13. Technical Oversight Committee constituted on 6 August 2008 found that the field evaluation trials, compliance to SQRs and selection of vendors were done according to the prescribed procedures.

14.Contract Negotiation Committee (CNC) was constituted and it carried out its discussions with the vendor between 19 September 2008 and 21 January, 2009.  While the CNC was progressing its discussions, Air HQ, recommended inclusion of Traffic Collusion Avoidance System (TCAS-II) and Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) for all 12 helicopters and SPG/PMO recommended inclusion of Medevac System for 8 VVIP helicopters.  These additional equipment were considered to be essential for safe and effective operation of the helicopter in VVIP transportation role.  SPG also agreed to these requirements.  The CNC, thereafter, recommended conclusion of the contract at a negotiated price of EURO 556.262 million. 

15.On completion of CNC the proposal was submitted for approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).  The CCS considered the proposal in its meeting held on 18 January 2010 and approved the proposal.
16.In pursuance of the decision of the CCS the Ministry of Defence concluded a contract for the supply of 12 AW-101 VVIP helicopter with M/s AgustaWestland, UK on 08 February, 2010.

17.The procurement case was, thus, progressed in accordance with the established procurement procedure in a transparent manner with all stages of procurement being followed meticulously.   Security aspects as required by SPG/PMO and IAF were fully taken into consideration.  The role of PMO which began in 2003 was to ensure that security, communication and other requirements of VVIP security were taken care of and the helicopter for VVIP use is selected on the basis of broad based QRs.

18.Contract signed with M/s. AgustaWestland includes specific contractual provisions against bribery and the use of undue influence.  Article 22 of the contract deals with penalty for use of undue influence.  This clause entitles the ‘Buyer’ to cancel the contract with the ‘Seller’ and recover from him the amount of any loss arising from such cancellation.  Article 23 of the contract dealing with agents and agency commission requires the ‘Seller’ to confirm and declare that he has not engaged any individual or firm, whether Indian or foreign, whosoever, to intercede, facilitate or in any way to recommend to the Government of India or any of its functionaries, whether officially or unofficially, to award of the contract to the ‘Seller’ nor has any amount been paid, promised or intended to be paid to any such individual or firm in respect of any such intercession, facilitation or recommendation.  This clause further entitles the ‘Buyer’ to consider cancellation of the contract without any entitlement or compensation to the ‘Seller’ who shall be liable to refund all payments made by the ‘Buyer’ in terms of the contract along with interest.

19.In addition to the above contractual provisions, M/s. Agusta Westland has signed an Integrity Pact with the Government.  The validity of this Integrity Pact is from the date of its signing and extends up to five years or the complete execution of the contract whichever is later.  Under the Integrity Pact, the bidder commits himself to take all measures necessary to prevent corrupt practices, unfair means and illegal activities during any stage of the bid or during any pre-contract or post-contract stage.  Any breach of the provisions of the Integrity Pact entitles the ‘Buyer’ to take actions against the ‘Seller’ which includes forfeiture of the earnest money, performance bond, cancellation of the contract without giving any compensation, to recover all the sums already paid with interest, to cancel any other contracts with the bidder and to debar the bidder from entering into any bid from the Government for a minimum period of five years which may be extended, etc.

20.As regards, the allegations of unethical dealings in helicopter procurement case including involvement of middleman and payment of bribes etc., the first report in the media appeared in February 2012.

21.Immediately (the next day after the news item appeared in the papers) DG(Acq) in MoD sought a factual report in the matter from our Embassy in Rome.

22.MoD also noted the report in the ‘Hindu’ of 28.2.2012 that, quoting Finmeccanica, states that its subsidiary AgustaWestland is not involved in “any irregularity in the deal”.

23.Subsequently, MoD received more than one communication from M/s AgustaWestland confirming that the statements in the press are “completely    unfounded and have been issued with malicious intent” and that “no commissions whatsoever were paid” in the case.

24.In April 2012, MoD wrote again to our Embassy in Rome seeking an update.

25.A detailed report on the status of the case was received from our Embassy in Rome in May 2012.  The report made it clear that there are inherent difficulties in obtaining formal details of the case given the independence of the judiciary from the executive in Italy.
26.MoD in July 2012 wrote to our embassy in Rome stating that it could approach the concerned judicial authorities directly.  A formal request was indeed made by the embassy to the Naples prosecutors office on July 16, 2012.

27.Since factual information was difficult to arrive at, Defence Secretary wrote to Secretary (West), MEA, in October 2012 reiterating the importance of the need to get information from the Italian authorities so that MoD could take further necessary action in this regard.

28.MEA’s response again was that the matter had been taken up with the Italian side and the position conveyed for the need for ‘reliable information’, for “news reports alone could not be the basis for the Ministry of Defence to make any preliminary determination”.

29. In October 2012 Defence Secretary also wrote to Secretary (West) to take up the matter with the Government of U.K.  in view of the alleged involvement of a British citizen and the fact that the contract was signed with M/s AgustaWestland, U.K.

30.In November 2012, Secretary (West), MEA, replied to Defence Secretary stating that ‘the U.K. authorities were waiting for the results of the Italian investigation in order to ascertain whether there are further actions to take’.

31.Earlier, in connection with the letter received from one Mr. Edmund Allen of Ganton Limited, USA, MoD had written on 19.4.12 to CBI and Enforcement Directorate for necessary action, as Abhishek Verma and others were also being named in various media reports in connection with several defence deals.  Later, Enforcement Directorate informed MoD in July 2012 that they were enquiring into the allegations.

32.In November 2012, a letter was received in MoD from the Director, Income Tax (Investigations) regarding allegations against Indians possibly involved in the deal as middlemen and seeking information about them.  The current status of the case was conveyed to the income tax authorities in January 2013; in return, MoD asked Income Tax to share with it any ‘credible information’.

33.Throughout the process of this case, MoD has been prompt to take action on newspaper reports, and to seek factual information from the concerned authorities.  Since foreign governments are involved, MoD has consistently pursued the matter though MEA.

34.As soon as information was available of one concrete step having been taken by the concerned foreign investigative authorities, namely, the arrest of Mr. Giuseppe Orsi, CEO, Finmeccanica on Feb 12, 2013. MoD handed over the case to CBI for investigation and put on hold all further payments to Agusta Westland.  Besides this, the Indian Embassy has been requested to provide the factual position and any other relevant information.  The CEO of M/s AgustaWestland has also been asked to categorically state the clear position in view of the current developments indicating specifically if any financial transaction has taken place with any Indian individual / entity which would be violative of the Integrity Pact or any other terms and conditions of the contract.

35. As already mentioned above, both the contract and integrity pact signed with M/s AgustaWestland, U.K., contain specific provisions by which strict action including cancellation of contract, recovery of payment, blacklisting and penal action can be taken against the vendors.  Government is determined to take all possible legal and administrative action against the guilty parties and accordingly has ordered a thorough probe by CBI.

Sitanshu Kar

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

'Nobody Will Be Spared': Antony On Italian VVIP Chopper Scam...In That Case Why Didnt Antony Order CBI Inquiry A Year Back?

Under fire over allegations of kickbacks in the Rs 3600 crore VVIP chopper deal, government today asserted that nobody found guilty will be spared and if wrongdoings were found by the CBI, the contract can be scrapped.
"Nobody will be spared whatever may be the consequences,"Defence Minister A K Antony told reporters on the alleged Italian chopper scam.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Indian Naval Ship ‘Kalpeni’ Visits Maldives On Joint Maritime Security Patrol

An Indian Naval Ship ‘Kalpeni’, arrived in Maldives on 12th February for a 5 day joint exercise with MNDF Coast Guard. The aim of the exercise is to jointly conduct maritime security patrol in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Maldives. During this visit, the MNDF Coast Guard personnel will be embarking the ship and will be undertaking various operational training with Indian Naval personnel. The joint patrol is aimed at increasing maritime security in the Indian Ocean region, especially in the waters around Maldives.

The current exercise is a part of bilateral cooperation.

Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland Reacts, Supports Its Chairman & CEO

With reference to the precautionary measures issued today towards the Chairman and CEO of Finmeccanica and the CEO of the controlled Company AgustaWestland, Finmeccanica confirms that the operating activities and ongoing projects of the Company will continue as usual.

In addition, Finmeccanica expresses support for its Chairman and CEO, with the hope that clarity is established quickly, whilst reaffirming its confidence in the Judges.


Antony Orders CBI Probe To Augusta Westland Deal For 12 VVIP Choppers...What Else Can He Do, Except Order Inquiry !!

Press reports have appeared from time to time on the subject of Italian prosecutors having initiated a probe into the alleged unethical dealings of M/s. Finmeccanica, Italy. The probe had been widened to include the Indian contract signed with M/s. Augusta Westland (UK).

The said contract was signed in February, 2010 for the purchase of 12 helicopters. In view of media reports, MoD through the Ministry of External Affairs had sought information from the Governments of Italy and UK. No specific inputs were, however, received substantiating the allegations.

In a recent report, appearing in certain sections of the media, it has been reported that the Chairman of M/s. Finmeccanica has been arrested in connection with the investigation into the case of the sale of helicopters to India.The contract signed with M/s. Augusta Westland includes specific contractual provisions against bribery and the use of undue influence as well as an Integrity Pact.

Since no specific input has been received so far from the two   Governments, MoD has decided to refer the case to CBI for inquiry.

Sitanshu Kar

Indian Navy Hands Over Inshore Survey Vessel To Mauritius -- Path Finder

Handing Over of Path Finder by Chindits
Handing Over of Path Finder, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
The Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi visited Mauritius last week (between 02 to 07 Feb). During the visit he handed over an Inshore Survey Vessel (ISV) ‘Pathfinder’ to the Minister of Housing and Land, Mauritius. The handing over ceremony was attended by the Indian High Commissioner and the Commissioner of Mauritius Police. Whilst handing over the ISV, the Chief of Navy Staff stressed upon the strong maritime ties between the two nations.

The ‘gifting’ of ISV is in consonance with the ongoing Hydrographic Co-operation between the two countries and is yet another step in this direction. The cooperation extends to support for the Mauritian National Coast Guard and involves several facets of capacity building and capability enhancement.


Defence Monitor 15 Jan-14 March 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Lack-Lustre Aero India-2013

0302_Page_16(1) by Chindits
0302_Page_16(1), a photo by Chindits on Flickr.

SFW For Jaguar In Upgrade Package

0302_Page_17 by Chindits
0302_Page_17, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.

MS Branch Shows Its Compassionate Side


'Iron Dome'---Israel To Display Innovative Aero-Space, Defence And Security Technologies At Aero-India 2013

Among the systems which will be on display in Bangalore are some that have been used successfully under highly challenging combat operations, proving the effectiveness and reliability of Israel's defence systems. One of the highlights that will be displayed for the first time in India, is the 'Iron Dome' system, the indigenously developed, game-changing – first of its type – missile interception system. The 'Iron Dome' recently performed with notable distinction protecting over half of Israel's population from a barrage of over 1500 rockets and missiles.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Indian Coast Guard's 36th Anniversary, Focussed On Maritime Safety & Security

The Indian Coast Guard will be celebrating its 36th Anniversary on 01 Feb 2013. Since its inception, the service has grown into a multi-faceted and vibrant force, maintaining round the clock vigil in the Maritime Zones of India, by deploying its multi-role ships and aircraft.

Beginning with a modest inventory of two frigates seconded from the Indian Navy and five boats from the Customs Department , the service today has attained  a force level of 77 ships and 56 aircraft. During the past year, 01 Pollution Control Vessel, 06 Inshore Patrol Vessels, 04 Air Cushion Vessels and 02 Interceptor Boats have been inducted. In addition to the establishment of a Regional Headquarter (NE) and activation of 08 CG Stations, activation / commissioning of 03 CG Stations has been planned in early 2013.

The Indian Coast Guard today is on the path of rapid expansion, with a large number of state-of-the-art ships, boats and aircraft under construction at various shipyards/ Public Sector units (PSUs), and a Coast Guard Academy will be established in the near future. The Coast Guard organizational structure will have five Regional Headquarters, 12 District Headquarters, 42 Stations and 15 Air Units functioning all along the Indian coast.

On the manpower front, the service has initiated several measures to augment its manpower viz introduction of short service appointment (SSA) for women officers in General Duty and General Duty (CPL holders) branches, departmental promotions of outstanding Subordinate Officers and conduct of special recruitments drives.

An average of 20 ships and 8-10 aircraft are tasked daily, to keep the vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and coastline under constant surveillance. The ICG has also set up the Coastal Surveillance Network (CSN), that comprise of network of coastal surveillance radars and electro optic sensors at 46 remote sites, including 36 on the main land, 06 in Lakshadweep Islands and 04 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Regular community interaction programmes are being conducted by Indian Coast Guard in the fishing villages all along the coast .These programmes are aimed at sensitizing the fishing community on the prevailing security situation and to develop them to be the ‘eyes and ears for intelligence gathering. In addition, during the past year, the Indian Coast Guard conducted 20 coastal security exercises and 21 coastal security operations.

Maritime Search and Rescue in the Indian Search and Rescue Region is undertaken by the Indian Coast Guard round the clock.  Untiring efforts under difficult conditions have resulted in saving of 204 lives in the last year. A total of 30 medical evacuations at sea were also undertaken by the ICG during this period.

The Indian Coast Guard has carved a niche for itself at the International level and is today recognized as the leading Coast Guard in the region. Institutionalized visits as per Memorandum of Cooperation/Understanding are being conducted regularly.  The 12th Indo-Japan Coast Guard High Level Meeting was held on 21-24 Jan 13 at Tokyo. Japan The 8th Heads of Asian Coast Guard Meeting was held at New Delhi on 01-04 Oct 2012, which was significant, since this meeting was held for the first time in India. In addition, Indo-Pak Joint Working Group Meeting was at New Delhi held on 11-14 Jul 12, for the first time.

The Indian Coast Guard has been expanding and is witnessing all around development, in both capacity and capability. State-of-the-art ships and aircraft manned by competent and professional officers and men take pride in serving the nation and protecting our maritime domain. The theme of the Indian Coast Guard for the year 2013 is ‘Focused on Maritime Safety and Security’, which aptly reflects the commitment and resolve of the service, and is in tune with its motto ‘Vayam Rakshamah’ meaning ‘We Protect’.


India Hands Over Dornier Surveillance Aircraft To Seychelles

The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony handed over a Dornier surveillance aircraft to the Foreign Minister of Seychelles Mr. Jean Paul Adam at a function here today. The maritime surveillance aircraft will be used to guard the extensive coastline of the island nation in the Indian Ocean. The Dornier 228 manufactured by the defence public sector undertaking, the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) will also be supported by the HAL team for maintenance on site to enable the new user to get the requisite expertise.